Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Sif Burlin Svendsen


Sif Burlin Svendsen


PhD project: Removal, Degradation and Transformation of Pharmaceuticals in Biofilm Reactors

University: Aarhus University
Department: Department of Environmental Science
Supervisor: Kai Bester, Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University
Project term: 01.03.2018 – 28.02.2021
Master’s degree: MSc in Environmental Science, Specialization in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, Copenhagen University, Denmark.

Pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are found in the aquatic environment, where they can have harmful effects. The main route to the environment is via wastewater, as pharmaceuticals are only in a limited extend or not at all removed during conventional wastewater treatment.
With my PhD project, I will focus on an already promising after-treatment technique; Moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR), which are small plastic chips with an attached biofilm, suspended in the waste water. Full scale MBBR systems are already established as an integrated part of some wastewater treatment plants, where they are in use for removal of nutrients (N and P). However, more recent studies have shown that MBBR systems also have a great potential of degrading micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals.

The aim of this project is to investigate different frequencies of intermittent feeding of the biofilm, to ensure a sufficient biomass for optimal pharmaceutical removal. Degradation kinetics of a mix of 30 pharmaceuticals will be evaluated from different setups in lab-, pilot-, and full scale. Furthermore, a second aim of the project is to investigate the degradation pathway of three sulfonamides (synthetic antibiotics) during MBBR treatment.


  • Kalundborg Forsyning A/S
  • Department of Chemical Engineering, Lund University
  • External research partners

Vis alle (8) »

Vis alle (2) »

Vis alle (2) »

ID: 98312990